Saturday, 21 April 2012

Bell Pepper & Sweet Potato Soup

I have had a few requests for more soup recipes on this site, but I've not been too keen to oblige.  Don't get me wrong, I think I eat more soup than the average person.  With the unseasonably warm spring we've had, it's been tempting to eat a lot more salads.
Mother Nature however, has different plans this weekend.  I really thought we had enjoyed our last fire of the season already, but given the chill in the air I just broke down and built one in our family room this morning.  Now to warm all of you up with some nourishing soup.
The soup is a fairly simple one that can be assembled quickly and then left to simmer.  It includes some roasted peppers, which does add an additional step.  You could use roasted peppers from a jar if you're short on time.  I usually start with the peppers first and then while they are resting, I begin the rest of the ingredients.
I've also included a recipe for some crunchy tortilla strips as a topping.  These really take the soup from good to great.  I used my own broth again, although this time when putting all the veggies in I skipped the lemongrass and threw in a dried ancho chile to change the flavour from Asian inspired to more Mexican inspired.
Next time I think I would consider adding a cup of black beans or lentils to up the protein in it and make it more of a meal.  The beans could be added before or after the soup is pureed, depending on your texture preference.  As it is here, it makes a nice lunch or starter to a bigger meal. 
The peppers lend a nice smokey flavour and the tortilla strips add crunch.  You could use some crushed tortilla chips if you wanted or perhaps some avocado on top.  I added some cilantro which is a flavour we like, but can be optional as well.  Enjoy!

Bell Pepper Sweet Potato Soup
2 sweet bell peppers
1 onion
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic
3 sweet potatoes
1 tsp cumin
4 cup vegetable broth (make your own here)
3 corn tortillas
2 Tbsp oil
cilantro, avocado optional

To make the peppers:
Preheat broiler to 400degrees. Take the peppers and place on foil line baking sheet.  Place peppers directly under broiler for 5min, turn over and then 5 min more until almost completely blackened.  Remove from oven and place in bowl and cover with saran wrap.  Leave for 20min.  Peel and chop peppers.  The skin should come off very easily.
To make the soup:
In a large pot, saute onions in olive oil for 5-7min.  Add garlic and cook 1min more.  Add sweet potatoes, peppers and cumin for 1min.  Add broth and salt/pepper to taste.  Simmer for 30-60min and remove from heat.  Puree with an immersion blender, food processor or blender.  Return to pot.  Serve with tortilla strips, chopped cilantro or avocado.
To make tortilla strips:
Cut 3 soft corn tortillas into small strips.  Heat oil in frying pan and add strips.  Stir frequently until strips begin to brown and become crisp.  Remove from heat and reserve as toppings for soup.

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